If your furniture has been the same and been in the same spot forever, changing things up could be considered a mini remodel. The same could be said about the use or lack thereof of your dining room or foyer. Interior remodeling expert Jan Lehman shares some small designer tips that will have a big impact on your home and how you feel about it.
- FIRST IMPRESSIONS: You and your family tend to use a back or garage entrance which means you probably neglect your foyer. As you mother said, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression” so here are some ideas to jazz up your foyer. Showcase a favorite piece of art, place a colorful runner on the floor giving your guests direction, paint it an inviting bright color, hang an unusual mirror, bring in a real live plant and if possible provide some sort of seating.
- LAYERS OF LIGHT: create interest, intrigue and variety. If everything in a room is lit evenly, nothing stands out. Define the task for the lighting and plan accordingly. In a kitchen for example, one single fixture cannot handle the entire area. Under counter lighting will highlight the backsplash while providing enough light for the task at hand; the seating area should be more ambient while artwork could have a spot light. In the family room, pick a focal point or two to highlight, then add ambient lighting with floor and table lamps. It’s always a good idea to install dimmers too.
- BORING BUILDER BEIGE: While beige is considered a dependable, conservative and saleable color, I encourage you to work off its FLEXIBILITY. Having shades of beige walls or furniture gives you a chance to experiment with color in less expensive things like pillows, artwork, area rugs or even lamp shades.
- BACK AWAY FROM THE WALL PLEASE: Fight the urge to push all the furniture against the wall. Talk about boring! Floating the furniture, especially into different groups, creates a more interesting and inviting room composition, encourages conversation and feels more intimate. An area rug will give you options of putting the furniture all legs on, all legs off or just the front legs on.
- MATCHY MATCHY IS A NO NO: There’s something almost scary about a room where everything matches; to me it shows a lack of confidence and even fun. I’m not suggesting you choose a theme of Grandma’s attic where it’s a just a hodge podge of “stuff”; I’m suggesting you show your personality and add pieces for drama such as an oversized ottoman, a leather headboard or even a chandelier. The scale of things in the room makes a big difference too. ONE large statement making piece, THREE medium size or FIVE smaller pieces are the general rule of thumb. Go with something that makes you smile and above all, is comfortable.
- KNOW WHEN TO HOLD’ EM AND KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM: Yes, I’m talking about that piece that your great aunt Susan passed down to your mother and then you and it just does not work in your décor. Chances are you have more than one of this kind of thing. Find another home for them; your relatives really won’t mind I promise you!
- BE BOLD! Personality is what makes a space great. Make your own statement and have fun. The more you try, the more you’ll begin to see what works and what doesn’t. Share your design ideas on our Facebook page.